Hassan Arun Cosmas Yei
A 69 year old retired sportsman in South Sudan’s Yei River County James Longa commonly known as Yaba BBC has initiated grass planting project on football pitch in bits to improve sports activities especially football in Yei town.
He has now planted grass on almost three quarters of Yei freedom square where many activities are held including football.
The pitch is designated for many activities like political rallies traditional dances and sporting events.
Speaking to our reporter Longa said he felt sad seeing young boys and girls falling and getting injured badly during sporting activities and that prompt him to initiate this project as his personal contribution to sports in the country.
He added the government had earlier promised to improve the playing ground but nothing has been implemented.
Malish David head coach of one of the local teams known as City Stars appreciated the old man for taking the initiative to improve football pitch. He added clubs in Yei always incur losses of buying new playing boots because of the poor state of the pitch.
“Players are always afraid of playing because of sustaining injuries especially when one falls down they can easily get bruises which leads to under performance by a player in the field ”, Malish regrets.
The head coach called on traditional leaders to collaborate with the government to demarcate and avail land to football clubs to do their activities.
one of the players from another local club called Yei United Emmanuel Lasuba commends the work done by 69-Year-old man describing it tremendous.
He did not expect an old man to dedicating his time to support youths especially sports lovers by improving the play ground.
“We have been expecting the government to carry out such initiative but only to be surprised by individual’s effort, I urge other people in town to join and support Yaba BBC in order for his legacy to continue to the next generation,” the player explained.
Another player Hillary Lubari from Salaam United Football Club expressed happiness for seeing James Longa working hard to improve the playground.
He explained that new players from outside Yei find it difficult to adapt to the rough pitch.
“We as players are happy and we appreciate efforts of our father BBC for supporting us in order to play a better game in the near future to represent our place at national and international games,” stressed Lubari.
69 year old James Longa commonly known as Yaba BBC had previously been a player, trainer and a boxer before his retirement.